Russian Prisons Launch iPhone Message App

MOSCOW, March 13 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s prisons administration has launched a smartphone application to send mail to inmates, a prison official said on Wednesday.

The mobile application, called “fsin-pismo”, operates on the iOS and Android platforms and can be used to send messages to an inmate at a particular prison or correction facility, which will check and censor it and then hand a printout to the inmate in question, Alexander Polkin, deputy chief of Moscow’s SIZO-5 Pretrial Detention Center, told RIA Novosti. The application can also be used to send photos.

A similar service for emails has been provided since 2008.

The service is unique and has no counterpart anywhere in the world, Polkin said. After it has been tested in St. Petersburg’s Kresty pretrial detention center and Moscow’s SIZO-5, it will be introduced in all prisons and correction facilities throughout the country, he added.

It will cost 30 rubles ($1) to send a message to an inmate from a smartphone.

At least 100 emails arrive at SIZO-5 each day, a third of which are sent from mobile phones, Polkin said.


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